I began the meditation by focusing on a line from The New Meditation Handbook. ‘Suffering is created by our own actions or karma’. I wanted to see what would happen if I just looked at that idea in my meditation.

I mentally repeated the words and let their meaning manifest in my mind. After a while, a conclusion presented itself: If actions create sufferings, WHICH actions? The answer is negative actions – all the actions included in the ten non-virtuous actions. I went back to thinking about suffering being created by these negative actions. The connection was very clear. I got the impression of touching a very hot iron. If we touch a very hot iron, it instantly causes great pain, and we instantly pull our hand away. We don’t think about it. We instinctively protect ourself and stop further pain.

It seemed to me that I wanted to instantly stop engaging in negative actions, as if they themselves caused intense pain.  I recognised that, in fact, they do cause such pain, but in the future rather than instantly. But in my meditation, I brought that pain right up into the time of the action itself.

I focused on this feeling of pulling away from negative actions as if they were a hot iron, searing me. I tried to let my mind become absorbed in the feeling of pulling away and disengaging from negative actions – the source of future suffering.

Dedication

Through the virtues I have collected my meditating on karma, may I attain the realisation of karma, and may all living beings attain enlightenment.

practice in the meditation break

I will look for my negative actions of body, speech and mind, and remember the feeling that they are searing my mental continuum – I will try to remember clearly the pain they will cause me, and use this to stop the action immediately. I will also guard against negative actions in the same way.